International treasure Sir David Attenborough has explained many wondrous things to viewers over the years, but few things as large as the Titanosaur. In a side treat to the recent BBC One program Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur, the naturalist takes the sauropod for a walk with a little help from a scissor lift.
Set to a classical score that will make any Jurassic Park fan get a little emotional, Attenborough throws out fun facts as you look at the beast: The Titanosaur weighed as much as 15 African bull elephants. It was as long as three double decker buses. Its heart weighed as much as three Sir David Attenboroughs.
To make the CG model, the BBC scanned the bones of the Titanosaur, now on display at the American Museum of Natural History. They rigged and textured the creature, creating accurate copies of the 220 bones found in Patagonia in 2013. Attenborough was put in front of a green screen and was told to react to a large pole attached to a balloon, which was playing the role of the dinosaur. The BBC’s Paul Deane writes that Attenborough embraced the project from the start, “so long as there was a cheese sandwich for lunch.”
The Titanosaur lived around 100 to 95 million years ago, but its discovery is so new that paleontologists who discovered it haven’t formally given it a name. While the Titanosaur skeleton barely fits inside the museum, its hulking form works quite nicely inside your smartphone.